I do love a good hard Northern Ireland queer read and down here in the soft bubble of the South East we often overlook fiction set in the fourth part of our lovely Untied Magic Kingdom. McVeigh brings us right up to date with this vivid honest portal of growing up in Belfast during the troubles and the protagonist jumps straight out the pages into your face with a verve and jokey energy that is astonishing.
I loved this book. The intricacies of the family life as Mickey Donnelly tries to balance his manically strange family life against his dreams of escaping to America and emerging identity.
Mickey’s voice is wonderful, direct, funny, and ribald, with a grip on dialect and Ulster life which delighted me. He’s a broken boy in a broken family in a violent hard place where love and laughter are stuffed in the cracks between the awful stuff that happens on a daily basis. This book is funny & sad, and it’s a superb read, like real life there are no happy endings in this book, but there is a honest realisation that life is complex, and there are no miracles coming out of the sky.
Profound, funny, gripping and this book touched me moving deftly beyond life in Northern Ireland and getting to grips, with a confident prose with the bigger issues in growing up and out.
Out now, see the publishers website here for more info or to buy the book.